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South African Medical Journal

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Risk-taking behaviour of Cape Peninsula high-school students. Part VI. Road-related behaviour

A.J. Flisher, C.F. Ziervogel, D.O. Chalton, P.H. Leger, B.A. Robertson

Abstract


The prevalence of a wide range of risk-taking behaviour among high-school students in the Cape Peninsula, South Africa, was investigated. In this article, the findings for road-related behaviour are presented. Cluster sampling techniques produced a sample of 7 340 students from 16 schools in the three major education departments. A self-administered questionnaire was completed in a normal school period. Estimates for each education department were weighted to produce an overall estimate. During the previous year, 8,5% of the students had been involved in a motor vehicle accident, and 7,4% had been injured in a pedestrian accident. Of those who had driven a vehicle, 63,2% reported driving without a licence; 16,1% drove an overcrowded vehicle; and 8% reported driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis. Of those who had been on a motorcycle, 47,9% reported riding without a helmet. Despite the availability of seat belts, 37,3% had failed to wear one on the last occasion they were in the front seat of a vehicle. Variations according to gender, standard, and home language(s) were identified. The prevalence of risk behaviour was higher in males, who also showed a more pronounced increase in such behaviour with age. The need for accident prevention programmes remains urgent.




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